April 25, 2014

The one about future BTO/houses...

Disclaimer: Any persons mentioned in my post are just coincidental *wink* So please take it with a pinch of salt or whatever lah. Cake pun okay!

We all know that gahment makes it impossible for Singaporeans to own houses making us forever in debt to them. Up til today, this is my only problem with the white party. Okay let me put things in a clearer prospective. Let's say one unit is sold to us at SGD250,000 , and there are 5 units per level and total of 14 stories in on HDB flat. How much does gahment get (not profit) from that one HDB flat? 17 million 500 thousand SGD dollars. We minus cost materials as well as labour costs and miscellaneous. So how much does the garment profit? Our country is rich because they take money from their own people, that's all I am saying. And, 250k is like the cheapest kind of 4-room flat. So yes, that's my only issue with them. Back to actual topic:

Baobei and I have set our minds to buy one HBD house and do up only one HDB house. We plan to stay there until we are old and wrinkly. So our ideal HDB house has to be

1) Centrally located
2) Huge ( 120sq ft and above)

and you are probably thinking "Crazy?! Can afford meh?" Nope, we can't afford it. Well not right now at least. But I have made it clear to Baoebei that if we were to get a BTO, it will be a 5-room flat. A lot of couples we talked to felt that it will be an awfully wrong choice on our part because

1) Rebates and GST money will be lesser or none at all. Especially with the location we have set our eyes on.
2) 5 room flats are harder to sell off than 4 room flats as 4-room sparks more demand.

The reasons make sense, but they are forgetting some things. For instance, rebates are not monthly and GST money is once/twice a year. So when it comes to losing out, we are not actually. And In Shaa Allah, the added thing garment gives are bonuses to us, not something we pin hope on. And for us, we have decided together that we will only have ONE HDB house, and if we do move is to upgrade to private housing, not to another HDB housing. Okay, here's the part where I explain The Crazy.

We have already set our eyes on an upcoming location that will be open for bookings in 2015. It is said that the particular location will have 3 different project housings. It will be centrally located (mature estate as said by some forums I read), and the plan is to get a 5-room flat. So why The Crazy?

1) Central location.
This only means that it will be very near MRT station (2 different lines actually for our location), and that means that we can ease our way by public transport since car is clearly out of the picture. It means convenience for us to get to places with very little hassle, either by bike or public, and not much of a distance from places all over Singapore. At most 30-40 minutes. If we have kids and I want to bring them out when Baobei is working, I don't need to think of carrying the pram up and down the bus, but just take lifts at MRT.

2) 5 room.
Have you seen the floor plan of a 4-room BTO?
Do not get fooled by the floor plan that was nicely painted by HDB to entice us. It is 90 meter square. It is not huge. If you know of people who bought a BTO or is going to get, please go and take a look. It is ridiculously cramped. Of course, HDB is very smart and makes it look like you have plenty of room but you don't. I don't think hide and seek will be feasible. DON'T BE FOOLED.

A 5-room BTO gives more breathing space with 110 meter square, which if given a choice I will break the 4th room to make my room bigger. Or build in walk-in wardrobe. Oh, fun fact! Our 5 room BTO has the same size as an old 4-room HDB (4A). See how sly these gahment can be?

So if we are asked to pay for a shelter for the rest of our lives, I will opt for something bigger. You know the saying that if you're doing something, might as well go all the way? This. 

3) 1) + 2)
So if we are already staying at a central location, chances are we won't move because it is so convenient. Also, if we are staying at one house, we will only have to do up one house. Which means to say, for my friends or couples I have met who told me that I can upgrade in years to come when we have a bigger family, we are saving money in a long run. Why?

  • We only renovate one house. So we renovate nice, beautiful, pretty and good, and we don't have to renovate again unless we are planning to give our house a face lift. So if we keep moving, we have to keep renovating which also means more money.
  • Buying and selling houses have always been very tricky. We don't know when will be a good time to buy or sell, therefore when we need bigger house but we can't move because the market is not in our favor. So we are still saving money in the long run. One big house, and that is it.
I have a close girlfriend who applied for a 3-room BTO flat. Knowing that BTO itself is already so bloody small, I asked them why. They gave me the same above reasons, stating that they can always upgrade when they have a family but if we downgrade, we have a penalty to pay. Also they might be migrating in the near future. So what did I respond to that?

A year back, people who wanted to buy car but hesitated because they said that in the near future they can buy one, are regretting for not buying a car then. Why? Gahment has imposed a 40% deposit for car sales and loans years are shorten. Which means to say those who wanted to buy but waited, can no longer afford to buy with the new rules. So I asked them back the same question. "Sure, you an upgrade in the near future but will you be able to predict the prices of HBD flats in the future and if then, will you be able to afford to upgrade?" Just like those people and cars. They didn't see it coming, and now they can't afford it.

So our plan is very simple. We have absolutely no rush to buy a house, and Baobei is comfortable with my parents and vice versa. Our plan is to see the first housing project at the location, and if the 5-room flat is too expensive, we will go for the next project. If the second project is too expensive, we will go for the last. If last project is over our budget, we will stay with out parents for about 3-5 years before buying a resale 4A-room flat. If it is within out means and topping of cash is not more than $400 monthly at the point of time we applied, we will still go ahead. By then, Baobei would have climbed high in ranks or switched to private sector while I have a degree pay so in terms of income, we would be stable.

Anyway the plan to have our own place is 3-5 years after wedding, so by then we would have money to pay for renovation, COV (if any for resale) & basic furniture we need. The plan is go debt-free! We have already planned to open a joint account after we get married for house, and another for emergency AKA holidays and babies.

Initially i did tell Baobei that if we have to pay cash monthly, I wouldn't mind because I have another source of income. But this boy beat me to it, he said that he can't let me do that and also, what if we get pregnant? Tuition will be out. So he said, we will play by ear. I have such a thoughtful man.

So here it is, my two cents worth about housing. In Shaa Allah we can move to a home we build together, regardless a resale HDB, 5-room BTO or private housing, as long as we are together and our family keeps growing. The important thing is that rushing is not an option in something as huge as a house, but then again each of us have our reasoning. 

So where is this location you say? Soon.

9 xoxo's:

  1. Dear..go check out the to-scale mock up area at hdb..personally, not so much difference in terms of floor space between 4 and 5 rooms..

    1. How can 96 and 112 sq makes not much diff? HAHAH. It's okay babe. When my time to buy house, I will scrutinize cukup cukup. Thanks for letting me know thought! XO.

  2. I myself baru book a flat. I hope you're aware that for 5rm and/or mature estates don't qualify for SHG (Special Housing Grant). Which means 20k go bye bye.

    The following link will give you an estimate of the pricing of flats in diff estates. Just note that prices shown are highly likely the cheapest for the range, for example the price shown could be a 2nd floor unit. Prices can increase by 2k or more per level. In addition, by the time u actually book a flat, the prices will definitely be higher.

    Important pilih yang mampu because now HDB has new regulations on how much of your cpf you can actually use for your monthly payments. Jangan nanti it ties up all your cash.
    Hope this helps (:

    1. Hi Sheena, way you da book flat? What did you get and at where? So fun, picking a house!

      Correct, I have done my research and also asked my friends who bought BTO (3 room, 4 room and also 5 room), and I have seen the 4 room. Oh my! Super kecik. Anyway 5 room the only difference is the living room area. But rooms pretty much like 4 room nyer, small. We have absolute no rush to buy a house currently, so we are not going to rush into a decision. Nak save also, so when we do renovation is our pocket money and not loans.

      Thank you for your input. It definitely got me thinking of 5 room BTO is that worth it. Appreciate it XO

    2. Hey Katt! Thanks for the time taken to reply!

      I picked a 4rm flat at Punggol Waterway area because I personally like to be near water. :D
      It was initially a nightmare man, picking a house. As the days draw nearer to your turn to pick, all your first picks are gone. Haha. Nasib our last choice masih ada or we would have forfeited our queue number. No point getting stg we didn't like.

      My 13th flr flat alrd costs $350k wo additional furnishings such as tiles (which means my house stakat ada cement) etc and I managed to get a $50k grant, which helps a lot! Even then the future monthly payment is about 1k+ so that's an ouch.

      Reason why I chose the 4rm is coz I wanted to get the SHG. Plus we realised that 500-600k for a 5rm is really a lot of money to put down, especially with less grants. My future kid won't care what room I put him in til he's much older. Haha. I didn't find it logical to pay premium for extra living room space. Not say like got extra bilik. I can use the extra money to go for holidays before kids enter the pic.

      I know what u mean for the reno loans. Urgh. I really hope we get to save enough since the wedding and house will be around the same time. 😱 But I don't regret getting my flat already, I love it. I'm already dreaming on decor. Haha. I just hope it doesn't get ready too early. Hahaha. I would say follow your heart babe, if u see one u really like (and within means) go for it! It is after all gna be your home for at least 5 years, before you can sell. Hahaha.

    3. Woah, your house sounds great but expensive for a location in punggol. Yeah it is true. Don't spend the money that we are not sure of yet. But it is always nice to ber-holiday before kids come into the picture! 13th floor? FUHHH! overlook apa nyer skyline ni! So best until like that! I nak 1st floor haha extended living room lah kata kan (padahal padahal!)!

      For now, both of us really have no rush whatsoever unless 10 anak serentak! HAHA but for now, nope! Our parents are kind enough to open their houses so we have two places to live until we have enough savings for one that we really like! For now, we have close our options for BTO and keep an eye on resale. That will be in 2017 onwards though, so yeah!

      When is your wedding? Soon like 2015? (: Do you have a blog or IG (sekali I am following without knowing) HAHA. It is always nice to read about other brides too and put a face to your name too!

      Meanwhile, XOs.

    4. Hahaha. No fancy shmancy skyline lah. Just glad I don't have neighbors who can look into my home. Can wear whatever I want without having to worry. Hahaha. My wedding will only be in 2017, about the time my flat siap. There's no rush and both of us want to complete our degree first, insyaAllah. Will update u if I have a blog up! Till then I'll be reading your random posts as and when :D